Six types of spherulite morphologies packed with polymorphic crystals and their growth kinetics in melt-crystallized poly(heptamethylene terephthalate) (PHepT) were characterized using polarized-light optical microscopy (POM), Fourier transformed infrared microspectrometry (micro-FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and atomic-force microscopy (AFM). Two maximum melting temperatures (Tmax), a higher 150 °C and a lower 110 °C, were used to melt the initially crystallized PHepT of either α- or β-crystal. The high Tmax was enough to melt all nuclei, but the lower Tmax was considered as near or slightly below the equilibrium melting temperatures of these two cells (if estimated by nonlinear methods). When crystallized at various Tc from these two Tmax's, PHepT can exhibit as many as six types of spherulites (Ring Type-I, -II, -III, Maltese-cross Type-1, -2, and -3) owing to different nucleations. Ring Type-I, Maltese-cross Type-1 and -3 spherulites are packed of the sole β-crystal, while Ring Type-II, -III and Maltese-cross Type-2 spherulites are attributed to the sole α-crystal. However, as the PHepT polymorphic cells are related to Tc, such correlations between the crystal cells and spherulite types (ring or ringless) cannot be ruled out to be a coincidence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry